Project introduction

We’re improving the safety of State Highway 1 between Levin and Foxton by installing a new roundabout at the intersection with Waitārere Beach Road, stretches of painted wide centreline, roadside and median barriers, and new turnaround facilities.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements, Speed review

Project overview

We’re improving the safety of State Highway 1 (SH1) from Levin to Foxton while we work to deliver the new highway from Ōtaki to north of Levin. Once the new highway is complete, these safety improvements will keep people safe while they transition to a different driving environment.

Between 2018 and 2022, there were 122 crashes on this stretch of road which resulted in five people dying and 20 being seriously injured. To help prevent deaths and serious injuries on this road, we’re planning to install a roundabout at the intersection with Waitārere Beach Road, stretches of painted wide centreline, roadside and median barrier, and new turnaround facilities.

We know these types of safety improvements are new for the area and have engaged our iwi and hapū partners, local government partners, key stakeholders, and the local community to get feedback and insights and to address any concerns about the infrastructure improvements. A summary of the feedback we received can be downloaded through the link below.

Engagement summary [PDF, 255 KB]

The safety improvements will be constructed in stages. Improvements north of the Manawatū River Bridge will be constructed first, followed by improvements south of the bridge (subject to funding approval). Construction is expected to begin in early 2024.

Improvements being made between Foxton and the Manawatū River Bridge include a turnaround at the southern entrance to Foxton for people heading south, painted wide centre lines, and a flexible median barrier from south of Foxton up to the existing median barrier at the Manawatū River Bridge.

Improvements being made between the Manawatū River Bridge and Levin include a roundabout at the intersection of SH1 and Waitārere Beach Road, painted wide centrelines, stretches of flexible median barrier and side barriers, and turnaround facilities at the Oturoa Road intersection and on the eastern side of SH1 at Koputaroa Road.

An information sheet, which includes a map of the proposed improvements, can be downloaded below.

SH1 Levin to Foxton safety improvements information sheet – June 2023 [PDF, 1.1 MB]


  • Construction begins – by early 2024
  • Mid 2024 – Construction on works between Foxton and the Manawatū River Bridge completed
  • Mid 2027 – Construction on works between the Manawatū River Bridge and Levin completed.

Speed review

The safety improvements we are making will reduce the likelihood of someone having a crash, however, we know that even the best drivers sometimes make mistakes and reducing the speed also reduces the risk of death or serious injury when a crash does happen.

Waka Kotahi has proposed that a variable speed limit of 60km/h is implemented outside Poroutawhao School as part of the nationwide Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan (ISMP).

Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan(external link)

The speed limits along the rest of the route will be reviewed in the future.

Flexible median barriers save lives

Flexible median barriers are a key part of this project.

Flexible median barriers put a barrier between you and an oncoming car, truck or motorcycle. This means that if someone loses control or drifts across the centreline, the result isn’t a deadly head-on crash. We know median barriers down the centreline are very effective, because of the number of times they get hit.

Between 2018 and 2022, seven out of the 15 crashes that resulted in death or serious injury were head-on crashes. Flexible median barriers help prevent these types of crashes.

We also know that this stretch of SH1 is used by a wide variety of people including local farmers and residents, families transporting children to and from school, emergency and freight vehicles, as well as the thousands of other travellers that use this stretch of SH1 each year.

We have designed the improvements, including the flexible median barrier, with the needs of these different groups of people in mind and with the goal of making sure that everyone who uses the road gets to their destination safely.

More information on the flexible median barriers, including the different factors we considered in deciding where to put them, is available on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Frequently asked questions – SH1 Levin to Foxton

Safety improvements map

View larger map [PDF, 338 KB]

Project Contacts

Ōtaki to north of Levin project team –
More contact info
  • Phone: 0508 625 4636
  • Alternatively you can write to us:
    Ōtaki to north of Levin Project Team
    Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Level 5)
    Private Bag 6995
    Wellington 6141